Weekend betting column
Valuebet's betting expert Joe Whitaker turns the spotlight on the weekend's Premier League and Championship action, where Preston North End face Barnsley at Deepdale
It’s time to kick on once again with the full Saturday football programme after a difficult week in terms of entertainment from two very drab England performances.
This weekend looks tricky for the backers I must admit. As a bookmaker I would rather have it that way though – that’s not to say its necessarily a bad thing for punters.
PNE welcome Barnsley to Deepdale for what looks like a big test. Its massively important to win your home games and Alex Neil will have been using the break to drill some sharpness into the squad in front of goal.
The defence, to me, looks as solid as it has done for years though I am not convinced the goals will come with a flood either.
Barnsley are no easy pickings and dispatched Sunderland 3-0 a fortnight ago. I like the 7/1 on North End to win 1-0. We do a 2 for 1 correct scores offer at ValueBet so you can stick 2-0 at 8/1 in there as well just in case.
I have picked three homes in the Championship for a nice tidy 6/1 weekend treble – Preston, Norwich and Wolves all to get the three points at home against Barnsley, Birmingham and Millwall, respectively, looks a solid way to some weekend profit.
The lunchtime kick-off in east Manchester looks a feisty one. I think Jurgen Klopp will set his Liverpool side out to attack from the off, with Manchester City looking potentially just as vulnerable at the back as the Reds themselves.
Pep Guardiola has been playing a flat three at the back, with Mendy and Walker given licence to go forward.
Can they afford to do this against Mane, Firmino and Salah? I feel goals are on the menu here and for me the away side look a big price to win the game at 7/2 and even better is the 11/2 to win the game with both teams scoring.
I feel punters can look to Goodison Park today for goals as well.
Can the ageing Toffees defence keep at bay the dangerous Harry Kane and Dele Alli double act? Will Wayne Rooney start the match after his off-the-pitch troubles? When Rooney retired from international football his reasoning was to concentrate on his football for his beloved hometown club. How ironic that the first game back from the international break sees him in such a bad situation. I feel he will start, such has his form been this season so far. We have him priced at 6/1 to score first and I would use our 2 for 1 first goalscorers offer by pairing him up with Spurs’ playmaker Christian Eriksen who is a 9/1 chance.
As always folks, bet to your pocket and keep it fun. Joe